2018 – a year of didn’ts

I hoped to have two books out in 2018.

Didn’t happen.

The Beauty of our Weapons, the fourth in the Anna and Zenni series, is still due to be published by ProSe Press, but has been delayed. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; StarChild, the third in the series, came out in the final days of 2017 and I think its sales suffered because it slipped under the radar. Beauty should be out soon, I hope.

Warbird has also been delayed. Various household expenses meant that I couldn’t buy the ISBNs I need to self-publish print titles, but I hope to get them soon. Once I have them I’ll probably also bring out the e-books, No Earthly Shore and The Dragon, Fly in print.

Not having any books out in 2018 means that I don’t have anything that can be nominated for any awards. Ah, who am I kidding? I don’t write the kind of stuff that wins awards. I’ll never be a well-known or bestselling author. I have a few dedicated fans and I’m very glad of them, but I ain’t gonna be famous any time soon.

I went to two cons this year – Follycon, the SF Eastercon in Harrogate and Novacon in Nottingham. Both were enjoyable, but I didn’t do any panels or readings, or take a dealers table. I also did a signing event, The Darker Side of Fiction in Peterborough, which was a limited success. Nothing planned this year so far.

I didn’t write much in 2018. The news is so depressing that I’ve had to stop reading it – the world is in such a terrible state. It’s hard to maintain any level of creativity in the face of that, but I’ve started to dabble in prose again. There are several things I need to finish, notably Anna and Zenni volume five.

I’m sorry that this has been such a negative post. I did make one cheerful New Year’s resolution this year, that I’d go out for tea and a cake at least once a month, just to try and lift my spirits. Mmm, cake – think I might be able to keep that one.

Happy New Year to all of you.

“Never do harm to anyone”

It’s almost eight months since I had surgery. I’m practically back to normal, except that I still get tired easily, the cut muscles ache when I walk too far, and the scar twinges occasionally. I’ve started to get menopause symptoms – mainly hot flushes and unpredictable mood swings. I went to the GP and we talked about HRT, but he said I was too old for that. He’s probably right, but it’s upsetting to hear it. In my head I’m still 16, and thin and pretty – none of that is true anymore. So he suggested the current fashionable default treatment for everything, anti-depressants. I was reluctant – I really don’t get on with SSRIs – but he said I should try them for a month and see if they worked.

So I got the pills, but before I took them, I looked them up online. Shit! This stuff has a list of side-effects a mile long, starting with sweating (which won’t help the hot flushes much), increased suicidal thoughts (like I really need those!) and weight gain (gee, thanks!), and ending up with electrical changes to the heart rhythm that can cause VF and sudden death. Now, as far as I know, hot flushes aren’t fatal, so I did a quick risk/benefit calculation and shoved the bloody pills in the back of the cupboard.

I’ve found an alternative treatment, a combination of lovely vitamins and minerals, plus sage to stop the hot flushes, soy extracts to mimic the hormones I don’t have anymore and green tea for – well, I don’t really know what the green tea’s for – I think they just put it in because they could. It’s simple to take, just two pills a day, with a meal. I plan to try it for a month and see if the symptoms improve. Five days in and I am feeling better. Might just be placebo effect, but what the hell – don’t knock it if it works!

In other news, I’m trying to write, but not managing to achieve much. I need to finish a new A&J story for Pro Se, and kick the second A&Z novel into shape. Dave keeps nagging me to get them done, which doesn’t help much. Frankly, at the moment, I’d rather knit.